Letters to the Editor
April 11, 2024

To the Editor:

Economists and the government use the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to see the status of the overall economy of the US. The CPI tracks the cost for food, housing, clothing, healthcare and various other items. What it doesn’t follow is when you have to buy less expensive items because of the higher cost of goods. So in the past you may have purchased name brand bread and now, since it’s too expensive, you’ve downgraded to the store brand. Yet the CPI assumes you’re still buying the same amount of the expensive bread.

The problem was inflation came into our every day lives in 2021. Treasury Secretary Yellen and Biden said inflation was “transitory”. Recognizing that was an illusion, in March 2022 the Federal Reserve was required to raise interest rates to stave off a recession. They’ve done so 11 times.

There are many reasons inflation is gripping us. The supply chain problems as a result of the pandemic caused a shift in demand for various items. Then the lockdowns in China who satisfies our demands for those items. Of course the pandemic relief funds doled out by both Trump ($2 trillion) and Biden ($3 trillion) play a part.

In 2022 Congress signed Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). It was touted to have a huge impact on the economy. Actually the spending and tax changes it covers have not been a significant factor in reducing inflation. As Biden even admitted the bill didn’t have anything to do with reducing inflation, it was “... the single-largest investment in climate change ...”. In fact, the IRA is filled with tax incentives paid out to corporations, ignoring market-based capitalism.

Federal debt is subtracting spending from revenue (tax collections). If the revenue exceeds spending you have a surplus. If spending exceeds revenue you get a deficit. Just because there’s a smaller deficit doesn’t mean the debt shrunk, it only means the debt grows slower than it did before. With a federal revenue of $4.7 trillion, and the interest rate of 6.41% we’ve got a long way to go to balance the federal budget.

In his State of the Union address in March Biden said, “We’ve already cut the federal deficit by over $1 trillion." But the debt continues to rise under Biden. In 2021 the debt stood below $27.8 trillion, now it’s $34.4 trillion.

Next week let’s discuss the threat to democracy.

Patti Walker
Fillmore, Ca.

 


 
Letters to the Editor
April 11, 2024

To the Editor:

I returned from a visit in NoCal to find to find that the MAGA candidate for president had been deified (“The Crucifixion of Donald Trump,” and “The Chosen One send by God”), and had embarked on a new, more supernatural gig than selling Trump steaks and vodka, gold hightops, and “Victory 47” perfume topped with a golden “T” (imitating Christ’s humility).

This time, a $60 Trump-endorsed leatherette King James Bible. The recent question of why we need lawyers (in a nation of laws) is answered in that an ex-president charged with 80-odd felony counts for acts forbidden in the Ten Commandments and elsewhere in the Good Book, and incidentally in the criminal code, is compelled to hawk these trinkets to pay lawyers to keep him out of jail. Perhaps a little less carny barker and a little more legal curiosity would have inured to his benefit.
Trump has refashioned his constituency into a congregation, convincing them of his quasi-messianic mission, increasing his use of dehumanizing (“they’re animals”) and darkly apocalyptic language. If he is not re-elected, he warns, the Democrats will have cheated (regardless of the facts) and we will experience an “Oppenheimer”-like doomsday; we will lose World War III and America will be devastated by “weapons, the likes of which nobody has ever seen before,” language wallowing in fear, doom, threat, and violence.

In your editorial last week, Martin, you blamed the current administration for “abandoning Ukraine in the middle of the fight….We lack effective leadership at a time when nuclear war is imminent.” The Democratic proposal to aid Ukraine has been on the table for months. The Republican House refuses to pass it. One political Party wants to support Ukraine, and ultimately the free world, against Russia. The other openly admires Russia and Putin, Orban and Erdogan, and believes in America First (and only). Someone the caliber of Margie Green is the foreign affairs mouth of the Republican House. Yet, you blame the Democrats.

One Party wants to invest in improved border control/funding and one doesn’t (until after the next election). The Republican House repeatedly turns on each other in a frenzied zero-sum political purity game which has halted legislative solutions and resulted in the abdication of several disgusted Republican legislators. And still, you blame the Democrats.
“I cannot write about a happy future when all I see ahead is confusion, chaos, and war.” Much of that confusion, chaos, and fear is engendered by Trump to arouse vulnerability to his message of “I alone can do it.” The guy can really sell stuff to some people.

Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore, Ca.

 


 
Letters to the Editor
April 4, 2024

To the Editor:

One issue many voters consider as their choice for president is the state of the economy. It’s my hope we’ll be able to have an honest debate during the month of April on that one issue. It’s quite evident there are Biden/Trump camps within the Gazette community. It would be good to have us informed on the issues we all face.

Many polls indicate the pressing concern is the economy. And your economy is based on your income. Most fact checkers wish to point out not one president can take full credit for, or blame for, the economy.

Under Trump, job gains averaged 176,000 jobs a month until March of 2020. Then the world was brought to its knees by the pandemic. Reports fluctuate as to the number of jobs lost in 2020. It depends on what data you rely on. It ranges from 30 to 40 million in the Spring of 2020 from the pandemic and related shutdowns.

Fast forward to Spring 2021 when Biden took office to today. More than 14 million jobs have been created with a monthly average of 400,000 more positions. As of December 2023 the creation has slowed to 216,000 a month average. Nationally unemployment remained low under both Trump and Biden. Trump saw it reach a half-century low of 3.5 before the pandemic. Under Biden it stands at 3.7 percent.

As you go to work keep in mind weekly earnings didn’t keep pace with the cost of living. In fact earnings fell 3.4 percent. The labor force under Biden remains below the pre-pandemic peak suggesting more have decided not to work or retire.

Also keep in mind, as many economists believe, without the massive pandemic relief measures Biden entered into, it would have taken much longer for the economy to recover.

That takes us to the next discussion - inflation and the interest rate.

Patti Walker
Fillmore, Ca.

 
Letters to the Editor
March 28, 2024

To the Editor:

On July 8, 2020, National Public Radio (NPR) unveiled the “Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force Recommendations” based upon the manifesto they entered into in May of that year. "The goals of the task force were to move the Biden campaign into as progressive a direction as possible, and I think we did that," Sanders told NPR." The agreement covers a slew of tasks which has set the tone for the Biden Administration.

In 2019 Biden stated, "I would in fact make sure that there is immediately a surge to the border. They deserve to be heard. That's who we are. "We're a nation that says, 'You want to flee, and you're fleeing oppression, you should come.'” When pressured about his comment “you should come” Biden stated, "Well, here's the deal: they're not. The adults are being sent back, number one. Number two, what do you do with an unaccompanied child that comes to the border?”

With respect to the agreement, it allows known criminals to cross the border “... without regard to the facts and circumstances of their cases...”.

Many come here fleeing the violence or political upheaval in their country, or are looking for economic opportunities their countries cannot offer. While I believe the Immigration and Nationality Act needs to be addressed, the current system cannot handle the influx. And pouring money on the problem doesn’t solve the effect they have on our nation. The Act, as well as the federal budget, addresses the allowance of 140,000 legal immigrants a year.

According to Pew Research Center, in December 2023 alone, the border patrol encountered 250,000 migrants; the highest monthly total to date, which is greater than the 224,000 who came in May 2022. Since he took office 7.2 million have come to America. As a result of the border crises, the 140,000 who have worked and waited to come here legally have been shuttered from entrance.

One fact in Biden’s favor is the boost in the labor force has helped the US economy, helping us stave off a recession. The numbers coming boosted labor supply and therefore the job gains. Yet there isn’t a state, and possibly any local community, who realizes they are not able to provide the shelter or public services to such a large number of new people.

It’s not just the fact they’re coming illegally, it’s the sheer number we cannot handle. As a nation, and in turn a state, we don’t have the financing or infrastructure to handle this crisis.

Next month let’s debate the state of the economy.

Until then, Happy Easter.

Patti Walker
Fillmore, Ca

 
Letters to the Editor
March 28, 2024

To the Editor:

I received the following comments from a good friend via email. I thought perhaps your readers would find this information worth reading. I think it helps to explain why Liberals are so aggressive. "

From a lawyer

Lawyers are adversarial and are trained to try to win at all costs. It may work in litigation but does not work well when governing our nation. Trying to win at any cost creates the polarization and hatred that now fills our country and leaves no room for common sense or legitimate debate.

Every Democrat presidential nominee since 1984 went to law school although Gore did not graduate. Evey Democrat vice presidential nominee since 1976, except for Lloyd Bentsen, went to law school. Barack Obama was a lawyer. Michelle Obama was a lawyer. Hillary Clinton was a lawyer. Bill Clinton was a lawyer. John Edwards is lawyer. Elizabeth Edwards was a lawyer. Look at leaders of the Democrat Party in Congress: Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer is a lawyer. Former Senator Harry Reid was a lawyer.

The Republican Party is different. President Trump was a businessman. Presidents Bush 1 and 2 were businessmen. Vic President Cheney was a businessman. President Eisenhower was a 5 str General. The leaders of the Republican Revolution” Newt Gingrich was a history professor. Tom Delay was an exterminator. Dick Armey was an economist. Ex-House minority leader John Boehner was a plastics manufacturer. The former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is a heart surgeon. Who was the last Republican president who was a lawyer? Gerald Ford who left office 31 years ago and who barely won the Republican nomination as a sitting president, running against actor Ronald Reagan in 1976. The Republican Party is made up of real people doing real work, who are often the targets of lawyers.

This is the natural consequence of viewing everything through the eyes of lawyers. Lawyers solve problems by successfully representing their clients, which, in this case should be the American people. Lawyers seek to have new laws passed, they seek to win lawsuits, they press appellate courts to overturn precedent, and lawyers always parse language to favor their side. Confined to the narrow practice of law, that is fine. But it is an awful way to govern a great nation.

The Democrat Party is made up of lawyers. Democrats mock and scorn men who create wealth, like Trump, Bush or who heal the sick like Rand Paul, or who immerse themselves in history like Gingrich. The Lawyers Party sees these sorts of people, who provide goods and services that people want, as the enemies of América. Hillary described Trump voters as a basket of deplorables. And so, in the eyes of the Lawyers Party, we have seen the procession of official enemies grow. Against whom do Hillary and Biden rail? Oil Companies, Hospitals, manufacturers, fast food restaurants chains, large retail businesses, bankers, and anyone producing anything of value in our nation.

When politicians, as lawyers, begin to view some Americans as clients and other Americans as opposing parties, then the role of the legal system in our life becomes all-consuming. Some Americans become adverse parties of our government, such as the MAGA Republicans. We are not all litigants in some vast social class action suit. We are citizens of a republic that promises us a great deal of freedom [from] laws, and from lawyers.

Today, we are drowning in laws. We are contorted by judicial decisions. We are driven to distraction by omnipresent lawyers in all parts of our once private lives. America has a place for laws and lawyers, but that place is modest and reasonable, not vast and unchecked.

The United States has 5% of the world’s population and 66% of the world’s lawyers! When you see that 97% of the political contributions for American Trial Lawyers Association go to the Democrat Party, then you realize who is responsible for our medical and product costs being so high.

Dave Johnson,
Fillmore, Ca.

 
Letters to the Editor
March 21, 2024

To the Editor and the Citizens of Fillmore:

Are you better off today than four years ago? Some think yes; others no. It’s obvious the 2024 election will be between Biden and Trump. This election allows voters to look back eight years and weigh the difference between the two; side by side. All elections have consequences, this year will be no different. Each and everyone of us has different opinions on the topics we are to consider when voting. How and why did you come to your opinion, that’s what I’m wondering.

There are differing views on how America is today. Many have grave concerns and problems, for instance, the price of food, utilities and housing. Some worry about the state of the global situation with war in Ukraine, Israel and the violence in Haiti. Or maybe it’s China and their alliance with USA’s adversaries. Maybe it’s the immigration issue.

From mainstream media, social media sites, and platitudes from individuals, one is left to wonder what are the facts. How did someone come to the conclusion one individual is Hitler and another Jesus? What are the issues, and therefore the facts, that brought them to this, and other various conclusions?

Frankly, let’s have a debate on the issues. Give me reasons why you believe Biden or Trump should get my vote. How each of the candidates handled immigration, the economy, international crises, as well as the legal issues both face.

It would be refreshing to read letters “To the Editor” laying out facts which support your position. I believe it’s important to the Fillmore community. Let’s have an honest debate based on facts, not emotion or feelings. Let’s start with immigration. Looking forward to what the people have to say.

Patti Walker
Fillmore, Ca.

 
Letters to the Editor
March 14, 2024

To the Editor & Dear Fillmore Community Members:

I'm writing to express my deep concern about the recent rise in bullying incidents at Fillmore Middle School, our community's only middle school. We all cherish Fillmore's vibrant atmosphere and strong sense of community, and ensuring the safety and well-being of our children is a top priority.

Unfortunately, the current situation at Fillmore Middle School paints a troubling picture. The lack of perceived accountability for bullying and the reported instances of victims being reprimanded for defending themselves are deeply concerning. This approach not only fails to address the core issue but also places a significant burden on the victims, forcing them to disrupt their education and routines for their personal safety.

Therefore, I urge the school district to take immediate and decisive action to address this critical problem. We need to see:

Increased accountability: Clear and consistent disciplinary measures for perpetrators, coupled with proactive steps to prevent future incidents.
Enhanced support for victims: Implementing comprehensive support systems to ensure the well-being of students who have been targeted.

Increased resources: Dedicating additional resources, including staff, to effectively monitor student interactions during unstructured times like lunch, passing periods, and after school activities.
This issue requires the collective voice of our community. I believe that by working together, we can hold the school district accountable for creating a safe and inclusive learning environment for all students at Fillmore Middle School. I encourage everyone to join me in advocating for our children and demanding the necessary changes to ensure their safety and well-being.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Concerned Parents

 
Letters to the Editor
March 14, 2024

To the Editor;

The idea that we are a Christian nation because of something someone did in St. Augustine in 1565 is absurd. By that logic, we should all be speaking Spanish. The Establishment Clause settles it, as you well know.
That said, it’s not just fair but imperative to ask the question, what best reflects my values?
I ask again, what policies would Jesus support?

Razor wire in the Rio Grande or a pathway for Dreamers?

Tax cuts for the uber wealthy or anti-poverty programs?

As for character, the candidate you support is inarguably the poster child for the seven deadly sins. Becoming more evident with each passing day.

Would Jesus let the people of Ukraine die at the hands of an invading dictator when he had the means to help them? Would Jesus separate parents and children at the border with no plan to reunite them?

We have a bipartisan bill ready to go that addresses both Ukraine and the border. A good effort led by a Republican, Senator Lankford, who’s been stabbed in the back because the “Dear Leader” needs a campaign talking point to stay out of jail.
What part of this is Christian? To proclaim Christian, be Christian.

Pat Collins,
Fillmore, Ca.

 
Letters to the Editor
March 14, 2024

To the Editor:

That was some fancy avoidance footwork last week. I’ve still got that list of Trump’s breathlessly bromantic utterances about the world’s worst dictators. He entertained and lavished despot-love on one last week, Viktor Orban of Hungary, who he declared is a “strong” and “great leader” because “he says ‘that’s the way it will be’ and that’s the end of it.” We got rid of our last king.

Your delusion that America was created as a Christian Nation is peculiar because the signers so clearly refused to do so. While all or most of the Founding Fathers (FF) were Christians, they specifically prohibited the new government, in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights, from establishing a state religion.

The sole reference to Christianity in the original Constitution indicates the date of the signature of the document “on the seventeenth day of September, in the year of our Lord 1787,” a common closing in official documents at that time. The Constitution also states that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” Forget the silly thing about St. Augustine.

The anticipatory glee of MAGA evaporated at the State of the Union (SOTU) last week. President Biden made a “pow! pow! pow!” case (Peggy Noonan) for his reelection in an energetic and cogent report of the country’s foreign and domestic standing and a plan for a second term, and verbally skirmished with hecklers. Later, Trump riffed erratically for two hours in personal attacks on Biden but with little policy discussion. He again ridiculed Biden’s lifetime stutter to demonstrate that he is still that playground bully who lives to torment others so that his own weaknesses will not be discovered. Too late. But some people apparently like bullies.

In the post-SOTU Republican rebuttal, Senator Katie Britt (R-AL) was unintentionally hilarious as she practiced her repertoire of cute/scary mom faces in her kitchen while she scolded the president and lied at least once. “Longtime GOP operatives, right-leaning pollsters, conservative Capitol Hill staff, MAGA lawyers, and even some senior members of Trump's own 2024 campaign absolutely torched Britt's absurdly over-dramatic rebuttal.” It was a hoot.

Trump installed his daughter-in-law Lara as co-chair of the RNC who immediately declared that all resources would be used to “reelect Donald J. Trump,” i.e., a new Trump legal defense fund! Forget down-ballot candidates, he is the only one who matters. The RNC will become Trump’s personal piggybank and, since “everything Trump touches dies,” only cobwebs will
remain.

Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore, Ca.

 
Letters to the Editor
March 7, 2024

To the Editor:

“Those who oppose assisting Ukraine and/or Israel are too dangerous and/or stupid to be in Congress.” I agree with you on Ukraine, but it is the Republicans holding that country hostage while it is losing ground to Russia. Meanwhile, a Senate bipartisan, negotiated border reform and Ukraine aid bill sits ignored on the desk of Republican Speaker Johnson.
As usual, you perceive things as one-dimensional, binary, black and white, from the lenses of 1939 or pre-St. Pope John XXIII. It’s ridiculous to say that the decades of problems at the border, and Ukraine, result from Democratic policies. Republicans want the immigration problem to remain an election issue and are using Ukraine for bargaining leverage.
Sigh. You again assert as fact that settlements at St. Augustine, Jamestown, or Plymouth established America as a Christian nation. They didn’t. On the contrary, the First Amendment of our Constitution provides that, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” Repetition of historical inaccuracy becomes falsehood.

Upon request, I can provide a long list of instances where “sane American” Trump has proclaimed man-love for dictators Putin, Erdogan, Orban, and Kim Jong-Un, who govern with dire threat and terror. The 2024 Republican CPAC speakers included anti-Semites (Nick Fuentes), and Christofascists (Jack Prosobiec): ”Welcome to the end of democracy! We’re here to overthrow it completely!” [in favor of Christian nationalism]. See paragraph above, “First Amendment.”
You believe that the judicial/justice system is dedicated to victimizing the twice impeached, chaos addicted, sneaker-shilling, canary-tufted messiah wannabe, and adjudicated fraudster, defamer, and rapist ex-president. You fever up over President “Biden’s Crime Family,” without facts, yet you tippie-toe in gold tennies around Trump’s many felony indictments, legal judgments, and vagaries of truth.

Do you approve the growing legalization of child labor in red states? We get it that you believe women do not have the right to control their own internal reproductive organs but may ask special permission if they’re bleeding out.
Veil drop: The “star witness” against the Bidens in the endless $5M Burisma bribery hearings, Alexander Smirnov, was arrested for being a Russian operative and lying to the FBI about then-VP Biden’s complicity. And they had been warned of his incredibility. At Hunter Biden’s closed-door deposition before the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees last week, Biden hysteric and Oversight Chair Jim Comer left the hearing after a few minutes and asked no questions. The position of his tail was not disclosed in press reports.

Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore, Ca.

 
Letters to the Editor
March 7, 2024

To the Editor:

You’re very good at slinging mud at Biden with no specific charge let alone actual evidence, while completely ignoring the outrageous, adjudicated behavior of Trump, and his lack of support for Ukraine. What are you getting from Trump that you can’t get from Biden?

It seems related to your assertion that this is a Christian country. That’s completely and unequivocally untrue. Franklin, Adams, and Jefferson roll over in their graves at the very notion. The founders didn’t include the separation of church and state for nothing. But let’s play with that idea. Are we a Christian nation? I wish, in practice at least. If Jesus were alive today, which policies would he endorse?

Razor wire in the Rio Grande or a pathway for Dreamers?
Tax cuts for the uber wealthy or anti-poverty programs?
Unregulated access to guns or protections for the public?
Relaxing child labor laws for corporate profit or enforcing child labor laws?
An environmental free-for-all for corporations or regulations to protect our planet?
Ask yourself, “What would Jesus do?” The answer to that is obvious. And it isn’t answered by flinging unfounded accusations about Democrats against the wall to divert attention from the question.

Pat Collins,
Fillmore, Ca.

 
Letters to the Editor
February 29th, 2024

To the Editor:

The Primary Election is next Tuesday, March 5. For those who are considering voting for Donald Trump or incumbent Republicans, please consider the following:

The Republican Party is the Party of Trump, currently a shoe salesman, and mindlessly follows whatever he advocates. You have only to look to the Republican Congressionals and red state legislation to discover Trumpian principles. The Repo House is a mixed-sex frat-party food fight. It is the most dysfunctional in American history because they are either ignorant, or completely dismissive, of our form of government.

The essence of politics is negotiation and compromise, because not all of us in this democracy are of one mind. MAGA does not believe in compromise, or in the orderly transition of power unless the result of an election complies with their wishes. MAGA insists on victory because the non-compliant electorate is unworthy to govern (Limbaugh). Trump and MAGA have shown that they will overthrow the electoral process unless prevented. Even better, convince the electorate that democratic elections are untrustworthy unless they win.

It must be clear by now that Republicans intend to remove a woman’s right to determine her own reproductive health and believe that the government owns her uterus upon pregnancy until birth. Then, whatever. You are becoming way too independent and self-interested. Actions against mail-delivered drugs, attempts to restrict travel to states affording reproductive rights, criminal laws affecting parents or other loved ones attempting to facilitate travel or medical consultation, bounties on discovering violations of state rules against reproductive control of women’s bodies. Even the recent decision in Alabama proclaiming that frozen embryos are “children,” entitled to civil rights protection, for couples unable to conceive naturally (Trump panicked and decried it), tells anyone who is interested that the Republicans intend to control women (and their husbands and partners) at their most intimate and heartfelt moments.

It’s not “babies” they are concerned about, or they would vote for post-natal and childhood health options. They want to control women, “the little darlings,” who need have no right to choose for themselves.

Red states experiencing a shortage of illegal labor change labor laws to allow our children to work in bars and animal processing plants in the wee hours. They refuse to assist our allies-for-freedom, extol Putin, ban books that discuss things they don’t like. They tell other parents how they should raise their children, all the while disingenuously advocating for “parental rights.” They want you to judge all people by their standards and advocate that America must be a “Christian Nation,” despite the First Amendment.
Still your choice.

Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore, Ca.

 
Letters to the Editor
February 29th, 2024

To the Editor:

While it’s nice to live in a country “where a person can call the president a liar, thief, and a traitor, without being shot…” such freedom comes with responsibility. For years, the Republican-led House has poured precious time and money into finding something—anything—on Biden. All they’ve come up with are thoroughly discredited theories and witnesses. It’s time to stop the nonsense and get down to business. They have a budget to pass and a government to keep open. Even their own party members are quitting in disgust.

As for “an understandable hyperbolic reaction” to bad debt in NATO, can we agree that we have a right to expect more discipline from a president than the random man-on-the-street with a microphone thrust in his face? And can we appreciate the irony of hearing that from the man who built his lifestyle out of bankruptcy and stiffing the people who work for him? Loyalty is something Trump demands, not something he gives. Least of all to the faceless souls who respond to his pleas for money to cover the legal expenses engendered by this felonious grifter who brags about how rich he is. P.T. Barnum has nothing on Trump.

Pat Collins,
Fillmore, Ca.

 
Letters to the Editor
February 29th, 2024

To the Editor:

With the upcoming election next week I wanted to share my experience with our current Ventura County Supervisor, Kelly Long.

In January, 2023, 87 railcars suddenly appeared on Old Telegraph Road, between the Sepse River and Highway 126. They were put there for storage by Sierra Northern Railways, who recently leased the tracks from the Ventura County Transportation Commission. All of the cars were heavily graffitied. Most of the cars were owned by CEMEX. Some of these huge cars were placed directly across from country homes.

The cars quickly became an attractive nuisance to tagging crews from all over the county. And they began to attract kids jumping from car to car and unhoused individuals seeking shelter. Street signs and areas along the country roads became targets of vandalism. Without the ability to run trains between Santa Paula and Fillmore, due to the railbridge collapse over the Sespe in the winter 2023, Sierra Northern had found profit in storing the railcars and did not want to move them.

It took a year working with the Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC) and Sierra Northern Railways to get the train cars moved to less public places. During this time, Kelly Long listened, she added the railcar issue to every VCTC meeting, she arranged a town meeting to address the issue, and ultimately, she met personally with the President of Sierra Northern to secure an addendum to the railroad's 35 year lease.

I am not sure of the future of the railway in our valley, but I am certain we had a supervisor looking out for the business that a railway might bring to our town, the railway's need to seek profits, and the local residents who were facing another year of rail storage until the rail bridge can be repaired. The Kelly Long I saw was thoughtful, strong, charismatic, and a leader who understood the value of, and achieved, a working compromise.

This year the storms have closed the traffic bridge over the Sespe River and the Grand Avenue neighborhood, forcing residents, and soon, heavily weighted semi trucks full of avocados to turn left on Highway 126. Many people believe the potential for traffic accidents is great, and will be seeking a temporary stop light on the highway until the traffic bridge can reopen.

I do not know Kim Marra Stephenson, and I wish her well, but at this time I am voting to keep Supervisor Long in office. She is already working on both of our bridge issues and, this past year has convinced me that she cares about Fillmore, will work hard to support our community, and has the ability to achieve results.

Mrs. Susan Jolley,
Fillmore, Ca.

 
Letters to the Editor
February 22nd, 2024

To the Editor:

I’m glad we agree on the importance of providing support for Ukraine. You must be as appalled by the inaction of the Republican House as I am. And certainly, Trump’s invitation to Putin to invade our fellow NATO members must be a deal-breaker on Trump for you. That comment ought to sober up anyone who still think this man is presidential material.

I do want to comment on one other thing in your reply. There may be only one reality but there are many perspectives. The folly is in thinking that what you perceive as reality from your life experience, education, culture, and religion is all there is. That’s why democracy is so powerful and so worth saving. It functions best when we thoughtfully and respectfully bring together the perspectives of the many to broaden and deepen our individual understanding of what’s real. This government is built on a system of compromise and cooperation, not my way or the highway. Someone needs to explain that to Mike Johnson, Mitch McConnell, Trump and the rest of today’s Republicans.

Pat Collins,
Fillmore, Ca.

 
Letters to the Editor
February 22nd, 2024

To the Editor:

So many want to attack individuals and what they perceive to be failures by the Republicans to pass the Senate border security package. Their comments center on individuals or groups they believe stood in the way of it reaching Congress. Never have I heard or read why they believe the Senate package was a good thing. It might behoove everyone to know the difference between the two bills that were drafted relating to the border.

H.R. 2 Secure the Border Act of 2023 was passed by Congress and sent to the Senate which they placed on their calendar on May 16, 2023. H.R 2 ended catch and release, completed the wall at the southern border and stopped the current open border policies. It further expanded provisions regarding the application for asylum and to qualify as a refugee. The bill also sought agreements with our neighboring countries to the south to open a dialogue regarding immigration from their countries. When Senator Ted Cruz sought to bring this bill forward in the Senate, Senator Chuck Schumer refused to bring the matter to the floor.

Next comes the Senate border security package of 2024. The Senate package codified the current open border situation and allowed the continuation of the catch and release we’re suffering from today. It provided billions of tax dollars to sanctuary cities and states as well as non-profit organizations to provide maps and money to facilitate their crossing at the border. It would provide immediate work permits, even before knowing if they are covered under the current asylum and refugee definition. The bill allowed for the normalization of allowing five thousand to cross our border every week. If taken up by Congress and if it passed, it would remain law until the end of time, or until the public was making it an issue again.

If the desire to correct the problems facing America as it pertains to the border, why don’t the Democrats pass H.R. 2?
Over 10.6 million have come into America from all over the world, including from our adversaries China and Venezuela since Biden came into office. We cannot continue down this current path.

Patti Walker,
Fillmore, Ca.

 
Letters to the Editor
February 22nd, 2024

To the Editor:

Today we have a large segment of society that is over-stimulated, where emotions control their thinking, with short attention spans, often undereducated and far too many are lazy, selfish and feel entitled. Most depend on the globalist mainstream for their information. You know, the same ones that told their viewers that Hunter’s laptop was Russian disinformation, or that Russiagate was real. Yes, that song, “Fools rush in where wise men fear to go” is something they should sing to themselves. Or maybe a modicum of common sense would suffice. Sadly though, they often fall for just about anything the ruling class feeds them as long as it promotes their emotional needs to feel virtuous while not having to take responsibility for the results.

One thing our citizens can take to the bank and save for future reference is; The Republicans are not the answer to all your problems, but one thing is for sure, the Democrats are the cause of all your problems. Our streets are not safe, crime is rampant, the border is overrun and adding to the crime. We have $35 trillion in debt, our schools are basically childcare with a food pantry and a President who is told what to do by unelected bureaucrats that are controlled by that same ruling class and global elites that control the mainstream news. Those are the facts that emotions can’t change.

Jean McLeod
Fillmore, Ca.

 
Letters to the Editor
February 22nd, 2024

To the Editor:

The “Mandela Effect” is the certain recollection of a thing that didn’t happen or isn’t true, like recalling the “Monopoly Man” of the famous game as having a monocle. Or C-3PO having an entirely golden body, when one leg was actually silver. Or the “Fruit of the Loom” logo having a cornucopia. But what is it called when people hear something of consequence but dismiss it? Or make excuses when reality presents something they don’t want to believe? Or pardon trouncing of civil and (allegedly) criminal laws? Such is the Trump Republican Party.

Presidential candidate Trump doubles down on his boast that if NATO countries don’t “pay up” he will “encourage” Putin to “do whatever the hell he wants to them.” Although he doesn’t have the power to reject the Treaty ratified by the Senate under the US Constitution, Trump would risk world war if NATO countries don’t pony up. Death, destruction, agony, and political instability are nothing compared to the thrills of revenge and ka-ching. Republican comment: generally, nada.
Trump has denied he will be a dictator, “except on day one,” but history proves that dictators don’t give up their power; it must be wrenched from them. He repeatedly gushes over despots for their “strength” and admires their rejection of democratic principles and restraints. Project 2025, the Republican Plan for America under Trump, indicates every intention of altering our form of government. And still, most Republicans dismiss it as “Trump being Trump.”

The “Pootie Love” of MAGA Republicans for the Russian dictator is astounding, even while they call Democrats “communists.” The Repo House voted down aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan because a Senate-adopted negotiated immigration border plan didn’t include every provision it wanted. Putin laughed off GOP-darling and “useful idiot” Tucker Carlson’s pathetically sycophantic interview, and revised history to claim that Poland started WWII by “refusing Hitler’s demands.” Putin’s ally has threatened nuclear war unless Russia is successful against Ukraine. But Republican silence (except to savage each other) and inaction are a pestilent cloud, and the House adjourned to February 28. Ukrainian President Zelensky’s comment: “Please remember that dictators do not go on vacation.”

Putin has expressed a preference for President Biden over Trump in the coming election. Because Trump has expressed enduring “Pootie Love” and MAGA obeys, Putin knows how gullible half of the American electorate is. Worth a try!
Trump is showing and telling the country what he is and what he will do, and somehow the GOP either laughs it off or bends the knee. “You knew I was a fox when you took me in.”

Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore, Ca.

 
Letters to the Editor
February 15th, 2024

To the Editor:

If anyone had any doubt that the Republican Party has abandoned democracy for authoritarian MAGA, they have only to look at the debacle in the Republican Congress last week when they voted down a $114 million border security bill negotiated by highly-regarded Senator James Lankford (R-OK). It gave them nearly everything they requested while giving the Democrats little of what they wanted (much to their chagrin). The embrace of parasitic MAGA by the “Grand Old Party” has desiccated an essential partner in our democracy.

In a democratic society, opposing parties negotiate in good faith to arrive at a compromise superior to the status quo. Democrats were not happy that they got few concessions in the immigration negotiations but understood that the present situation required compromise.

However, Republicans rejected the highly restrictive migrant legislation because it doesn’t include every single provision they wanted, and because Trump doesn’t want the Biden Administration to get credit for solving the issue. He has sold MAGA the idea that, in his world, they will never have to compromise. He promises to provide a government where whatever they want will just ! Poof! happen. And they were willing to savage their own esteemed Senator Lankford as a flaccid negotiator.
In short, they have no interest in democracy. Interviews with MAGA have revealed that many want an authoritarian leader who will enforce their beliefs and wishes without the hassle of negotiation and compromise. They excuse Trump’s crudities, abuse of women, support for White Nationalism and violence, interminable lies and love of despots as just “Trump being Trump,” as if he were just a rambunctious, amusing child.

Trump has modeled credibility, truth, and honor as optional. After the immigration proposal was defeated, Congressional Republicans spread layers of misinformation of its contents. Mitch McConnell and Lindsay Graham (for two) whose staffs had worked closely with Senator Lankford on the package, reversed themselves after Trump’s directive and called the proposal “a terrible plan.” Did I mention that courage is also in short supply in the Republican Congress?

The American economy is experiencing one of its greatest growth periods of our lifetimes, and yet many Republicans want to persuade the country that our nation is in ruins and can’t afford foreign obligations. Still, we’re living through one of the most challenging periods of modern times. What is not helpful are legislators who are enthralled with a corrupt narcissist and don’t really want to work together to solve anything.

Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore, Ca.

 
Letters to the Editor
February 15th, 2024

To the Editor:

The immigration bill you call “… an abomination …” is the Republican bill. They got what they wanted, without any provision for “Dreamers.” They can’t take yes for an answer. They don’t want immigration solved. They admit Trump needs it for a cudgel against Biden. I say they never wanted it solved. They scuttled bi-partisan bills in 2006, 2008, and 2016. They do not want it solved because they want to use it to instill fear in voters—which is more important to them than fentanyl. They don’t want it solved because illegal immigrants are a treasure trove of low wage, easily abused labor—labor that largely benefits Republican donors. Republicans sell fear, not solutions. In case anyone missed their hypocrisy, they moved to impeach the immigration secretary while refusing him the money and authority to do what they say they want him to do, but of course, they don’t really.

Final points. 1/6 was an assault designed to thwart a constitutional process. That’s the difference between a riot and an insurrection. You know that. Just as you know Biden in no way committed treason. You have a sacred trust. You owe it to the founders to honor that trust.

Pat Collins,
Fillmore, Ca.